As one of Waldorf Astoria’s three new outposts for 2014, Waldorf Astoria Beijing is bound to make quite a splash when it opens tomorrow. (Properties in Jerusalem and Amsterdam are expected to open later this year.) Its show-stopping bronze building in the city’s Wangfujing district is enough to lure you in; but once you step through the 1,100-pound copper doors and into the intimate lobby, you’ll never want to leave. The downtown location is great for both business travelers and leisure guests — major banks, government buildings and commercial offices are nearby, while bars, restaurants (DaDong, for one) and iconic sites such as the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square are in close proximity as well.
When you aren’t exploring what Beijing has to offer, the 176-room hotel has just about everything you could possibly need. With interiors by design firm Yabu Pushelberg, the contemporary rooms are decked out in a turquoise, gold and cream palette, and stocked with lavish amenities ranging from Salvatore Ferragamo bath products to Apple TV hookups. Though they’re still in the works, Waldorf Astoria Beijing features two hutong villas, one of which can be reserved in its entirety, that are situated in the nearly 500-year-old Jingyu hutong, which is connected to the main hotel via underground passageway. These rooms will have a traditional Chinese atmosphere, but will still be loaded with all the luxuries of a modern hotel.
The indigenous style can be felt throughout Waldorf Astoria Beijing — design elements such as silk-paneled walls and ornate rugs ensure that. The hotel is also filled with contemporary art, including the signature Waldorf Astoria grandfather clock (every hotel has one) that’s given a modern Chinese twist, appearing almost as if it is floating within its glass cabinet. Though in a different way, that tradition carries into the Waldorf Astoria Spa, where seasonal treatments combine the philosophies of traditional Chinese medicine with contemporary techniques, allowing your body to conform to the seasons. And if you’re having a bit of trouble with jet lag, make sure to book one of the oxygen facials, which will have you back on your feet in no time.
The new hotel pays homage to its sister hotel, Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Waldorf Astoria New York, with two of the three dining outlets. You can enjoy afternoon tea and light bites in Peacock Alley, which is a modern version of its namesake Big Apple lounge, while Brasserie 1893 is an ode to the famous maître d’ Oscar Tschirky — he was a powerful figure at the historic hotel in the late 19th and early 20th centuries — with its epicurean fare and show kitchen. But if you’re looking for food with a bit more native flavor, head up to Waldorf Astoria Beijing’s third level to find Zijin Mansion, an establishment that will serve fine Cantonese cuisine for lunch and dinner.
Photos Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Beijing